Category Archives: Random Story


I’m at a cigar lounge in Chicago, Illinois, I get into a conversation with a guy. Mexican dissent, good-looking guy, tells me he’s an “Artisan.” I like art, I ask, what’s your medium? And he tells me. Painting, sculpture, etcetera. I say, you have any pictures on your phone? He pauses, then says, yeah.  He gets out his phone, looks for pictures. He’s across from me, with a big coffee table between us. He finds pictures, I get up, we meet halfway around the table, sit down. I look at his art, it’s legit. We’re talking museum quality. I don’t ask him how much, bc it would be uncouth, and I know I couldn’t afford it anyway.

We get to talking, he asks me where I’m from, of course, we know some mutual people. Insert: It’s a small world. We talk about our mutuals, he knows an ex-girlfriend of mine. His wife worked with her at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City back in the day. I tell him a fond memory, Nell taking me to Prairie Lights before prom, it’s closed down but she has keys, and set up in there, is candles, rose pedals, champagne and strawberries. Nell, if you’re out there and reading this, thank you for a wonderful night I’ll never forget.

We get to talking about the art world, he name drops famous artists he knows. It’s ok, bc I’m eating it up. So I ask him the big question:

Have you ever met Banksy?

He says, actually, I have.

I say, please tell me more.

If you don’t know anything about Banksy, you live under a rock, with a lot of moss growing on it.

Fine. I’ll tell you what you need to know to appreciate this story. He’s a famous graffiti artist, and no one knows who he is. Ok I’m sure some do, but no one like myself, some random dude who bartends in Iowa.

My new friend says, so…my art dealer picks me up for lunch, and on our way, he says, I have to tell you, we’re meeting a friend of mine for lunch. It’s Banksy. Please don’t ask him any questions about his work, he won’t like it.

Holy shit. For me, this story is turning into the Holy Grail of stories. I’m about to find out who Banksy is. A HUGE interesting GLOBAL mystery for years since his brilliant work started showing up on dilapidated walls in England.

He says, we get to lunch, I meet him, and he’s just this regular guy. Looks kind of unkept, with long hair. He seemed very blue collar. Working class. And I thought it made sense. He didn’t seem like this revolutionary guy.

I say, but his work is very revolutionary.

He says, true. And I’ll put something to rest for you. He’s NOT the Massive Attack guy.

This is a HUGE thing for him to reveal, bc if you read up on the Banksy mystery, there’s been researchers that are convinced that Banksy is a guy from a band called Massive Attack. We’re talking, a guy wrote a BOOK on this, and his conclusion was such. I’m here at this cigar lounge that’s MET HIM, and in one stroke, debunks the whole theory.

My mouth is salivating, I’m getting goosebumps, I’m standing on the edge of a cliff, and I ask the million dollar question, as nonchalant as I can muster:

So…what’s his name?

He takes a pause, then says,

….THAT I can’t tell you.

Now don’t get your panties in a bunch fine people. Bc there’s a little bit more to this story.

I say, actually, I’ve done a bit of research on this subject, and I have a theory on who Banksy is. He says, is that right?

I say, what if I show you a picture of this guy I think is Banksy? You don’t have to confirm it, just, maybe, give me a smile.

He thinks for a second, then says, …maybe.

I get out my phone, find a picture of the possible Banksy, hand him my phone.

He looks at it. Then touches the screen with his fingers, to expand the picture.

He looks closely at the picture, looks up after a moment, hands me back the phone,

And smiles.




The End Of Worrying About Where’s Your Stuff

OK, you know what I’m tired of?  Keeping track of all my STUFF.  I know you have to find a home for everything, but, c’mon.  Where’s my keys?  Where’s my wallet?  Did I leave my debit card somewhere, it’s not in my wallet.  Where’s my phone?  Where’s my sunglasses?  Where’s my watch? Where’s my stocking cap and gloves?  Where’s my CHARGER?!?  I had two damn chargers three weeks ago, now none.  (Thanks kids and wife).  I gotta go outlet to outlet looking for the damn things.  Kitchen, then den, then living room, then bedrooms, then basement.  It’s a constant struggle.

In Heaven, I imagine a place without worrying about where’s your stuff.  Where’s my phone?  No need.  You can read everybody’s mind.  Want to meet up with Marilyn Monroe for a coffee?  Hang on a sec, I’m texting her right now with my mind.  Where’s my keys?  No need, baby.  Climb into any DeLorean on the side of the road, start it up with a snap of your fingers.  House keys?  Again, no need.  Walk into any house, crash out in whatever fancy bedroom you want.  Who’s going to steal in Heaven?  Imagine your dream home, and in two secs, there it is in front of you. With all of the accoutrements.  How about clothes?  You don’t need clothes in Heaven.  You walk around naked.  It’s always 82 there, and check out my six-pack.  I just thought about it, and I look like an Adonis.  No gyms in Heaven, perfect health and awesome muscles with no effort.

Ok, maybe there are cell phones in Heaven.  I don’t know why.  But if there is, and you want to go old school, the phone doesn’t need charging, or a charger.  It’s always at 100%, baby!!!

And of course, you don’t need a wallet in Heaven, or a bank card you might leave at some restaurant, or gas station.  Everything is free in Heaven!  You want something, you think about it, it’s in the palm of your hand.

But until then…  my cell phone is on 10%.  Where’s my wallet, where’s my keys?

Oh, and who needs a car?  You fly everywhere!  Or close your eyes, imagine you’re on top of the highest mountain, with the most beautiful sunset,

And there you are, with Marilyn Monroe snuggled next to you, seeing you for the Adonis you are.



Are We Living In A Virtual Reality?

I always like to “try out” all my new theories on my guests at the bar.  Got to talk about something.  Might as well throw something at them, see if it connects.

You ever watch Sci-fi movies?  Yeah, sometimes.  What about this?  You know in space movies, the passengers/crew members get in those hibernation caskets?  I don’t know what the official name is called.  They get in there on long travels through space so that when they arrive, they don’t age, not 150 years.  In 1,000 years, we’ll be traveling to other planets, like Mars, but it’ll take, even with all the new technologies, 100 years to get to the destination, because the planets are so far away.  I’ve read even if we’re able to go at light speed, it’ll take a helluva long time to travel thru space to get to a planet like Mars, or even further.  So you get into that “bed” like a mummy, and sleep for 100 years, and when you arrive, you’re not 150 years old, but the same age as when you left.

Now what happens when you’re in there?  Do you dream?  Perhaps to stave the boredom of 100 years of sleep, you experience a virtual reality.  They hook you up to that, and you live a virtual life for 100 years, before you get to your final destination.  Wouldn’t you rather that, than it be nothingness?  And maybe you can choose your virtual reality experience?  We’re in the year 3,000.  You can choose a reality from the past:  Year 1500 to perhaps hang out with Shakespeare, or maybe 2000, to hang out with a young Britney Spears.  Whatever you want.  The trick would be to NOT KNOW that it is a virtual reality world, because if you knew it was, that might cause you to WAKE UP.  You wake up, like you’d do a bad dream, but in this case, you’d be stuck in space for another 100 years, and obviously, not make it to your destination, because you wouldn’t probably live that old.  Or maybe you’d just get back in, and pick year 2017, to meet Clint Curtis, the forefather and Nostradamus of this future experience.

(See what I did there).

When you die, you wake up in Mars, or wherever your destination, and you live what life that place has to offer.

Now here’s my point, you can probably see where this is going.  What if RIGHT NOW we’re actually in that hibernation, and experiencing 2017. This isn’t actually reality, but a virtual reality we’re experience from the past.  We are experiencing the life of our forefathers.  Again, when we die, we wake up, and we’re actually thousands of years into the future.

I was watching a movie last night, and I loved this beautiful line.  It’s in the future, and one character says to the other character, you’re a bad person.  I’m NOT like you.  And he says,

It doesn’t matter.  You’re here, and I’m here.

So are we actually living a virtual life?

It doesn’t matter.  I’m here, and you’re here, and that’s all we can really prove right now.




Dumb Way To Sprain Your Wrist

I’m in the back office with my manager counting my bank. Busy night, I’m exhausted, actually the first time I’ve sat down for seven hours.

We’re talking, I say, God my wrist is hurting. Why?  She says, with a wink. I say, not because of that. It’s actually even more embarrassing. My wrist is actually sprained. She says, how did you do it?


I’m thinking she wouldn’t necessarily relate to the cause of this predicament, but she says, yeah!  The ice cream is so hard!!

I’m on my break, I’m thinking, yeah, some ice cream would hit the spot. They have this cheap ass ice cream in the kitchen, it’s in this huge tub, and for some reason, it’s always practically empty. Just not quite empty enough to throw it away. There’s SOME ice cream on the bottom of the bucket, and SOME on the side. There’s a scooper there, but it’s literally IMPOSSIBLE to scoop the ice cream out. And you don’t scoop it. You basically SCRAPE it off. And this time, I was determined. I wanted that ice cream by any means necessary. And I think I sprained my wrist halfway thru. But I kept going. I NEEDED that ice cream. By the end, I barely got two scoops out. And my wrist from it all was totally fucked.

My manager says, I think there’s something wrong with the cooler. It’s too cold, the ice cream’s a frozen block.

I ate my ice cream miserably with a limp, sore wrist.

I mean, it still tasted good.



I Saw A Ghost

I’m laying in bed, it’s exactly 5am, I can’t sleep. That’s not unusual. It’s impossible for me sometimes to fall asleep. Once I fall asleep, I’m good. It’s just getting over the hump from sleep, to dreamland, that’s difficult.

I’m thinking about my day, it was pretty awesome. It was Father’s Day, woke up to presents, kisses and loves from my family. Spent all afternoon with the family, which was great. We went for ice cream, and played Connect Four. My 8 year-old son beat me. Good one.

Had work later, got in about 7:30pm, started setting up, and that’s when I saw a ghost.

I was going to the back room for something, I can’t remember. When I was done, I walked down the hallway, around the stage, and this is how it went, in slow-motion.

I just pass by the black curtain, something flashes in my peripheral vision. Oh I thought I was the only person in the bar. Must be a band member on stage. I turn my head to the right, and follow the movement. The “person” is walking from the middle of the stage, to the back stage. I finally get completely past the curtain, I look around the stage,

And no one is there.

At that point, I kept walking, and said to myself, welp. I just saw a ghost. I finished up opening duties, and didn’t think any more about it.

It’s not that I don’t believe in ghosts. I’ve never even thought about it. I’m mostly pragmatic. If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, as far as I know. But what I do have is instinct. And when I think back on the moment, I know what I saw.

I saw a ghost.

Why I saw it, I don’t know, and I don’t care. Did it have meaning?  I’m pretty sure it didn’t. Was I scared?  Not for a second. But I FELT a presence, I SAW SOMETHING.

Now…I’m going to close my eyes, and hope for sleep.

-Clint Curtis


Under The Overpass

I’m on my way to work, it’s pouring down rain. The kind of rain where your wipers can’t go fast enough.

There are three overpasses I drive under on my way to work. I love it when it’s raining, and you go under one, it’s like


The silence underneath the overpass can be, in itself, so loud. It’s the suddenness of the rain not hitting your car.

It’s like you’re in a surreal movie. The rain is falling down, then you take two steps, and you’re out of it. But in front of you, there is a wall of rain.

Like life, downpour, then silence,

Then the downpour again.

I think I’ll stop under the overpass, imagine I’m like a GOD,

And the rain doesn’t touch me.

-Clint Curtis

Everybody Loves A Magic Trick

I’m at Barnes And Nobles with my son Henry. I’m buying a book on Real Estate, he’s in the toy section. I told him he could get something. Problem is, I have another son, and I can’t just get Henry something. I have to get them ALL something.

Henry’s in the Lego aisle. Yeah. There’s a whole aisle for Lego’s. When the HELL did they start selling toys at bookstores?!?!  

Probably right when people stopped buying actual books.

I’ve got my book, Henry’s looking at Ninjago now, I guess I’ll try to find something for my other son Liam.

25 Magic Tricks!

This looks interesting.

I pick up the box. Apparently it has magic tricks inside.

Magic tricks. Huh. I forgot all about them.

When I was a kid, I went through a magic phase. There was this AMAZING store in Cedar Rapids that sold primarily magic stuff. Every time I’d be in CR, and was at the mall, I’d go to this store.

I inspect the box. 25 bucks. Damn. Better be some good magic tricks. My son Henry says, I want a Ninjago watch!  Whatever kid. Get it, and let’s go.

We get home, Henry runs in, says, look what Dad got me. He rushes to go show Liam. Hey!  He says. You got something for Henry and not for me?!?!?

See. I told you.

I hand him the bag. He opens it, looks a bit confused. I say, it’s magic tricks, open it up, let’s do ’em.

He opens up the package, dumps everything out on the floor. Couple packs of cards, a big card, and a DVD. I look…where’s the directions?  Oh. Must be on the DVD.

Aren’t they cute.

After dinner, we put on the DVD, learn a trick. After two seconds of learning the basics of the trick, my son says, I’m gonna go show mom.

I say, wait, wait, wait, wait. We gotta work on this before you show anybody. Doing a trick is not just about learning how to do it. It’s about coming up with a performance around it. You don’t just say, boom, there it is. You have to DRAW YOUR AUDIENCE IN with your words, and the story you tell.

I bet I made that kid do it ten times to me.

You gotta say this…don’t fan the cards with your right finger, it’s awkward. You have to smooth it out.

Finally when I felt he was ready, I allowed him to perform the trick. You have to RESPECT THE TRICK.

And do you know what the most important rule is for a magician?

He says, no.

I say, never. NEVER tell them how you do the trick.

He goes upstairs, does the trick for mom, and kills it.

I grab the cards, start coaching him a bit more. You were good with this, but when you show the cards, say something like this…


I tell him, you mind if I borrow the cards, do the trick at work?

He says, fine.

I take it to work, do the trick for about fifty people, and they love it. I bet I made more tips because of it too!!!  Hey, bartenders. Learn a magic trick, get more tips.

Because everybody loves a magic trick.

-Clint Curtis